Suffragette (2015)

11:57 AM

The Time is Now
Suffragette is directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and stars Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, Drive), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, The King's Speech), Anne-Marie Duff (Before I Go to Sleep, Nowhere Boy) and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods, The Devil Wears Prada). "The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State". Can Suffragette be as powerful as the inspiring women the film is about?

Suffragette is a strange film - I can't really gather my thoughts very well about the film but I can say that I definitely enjoyed it! The film appears to stay true to its routes and is definitely Oscar bait. However, don't be misled by the posters and trailers because Streep's role is very minimal - she maybe has 3-5 minutes of screen time. Suffragette should be an inspiring film and it basically does everything right but it still has a few faults. 

The story for Suffragette is very powerful and inspiring - this isn't down to anyone involved by the film but more to do with the actual history behind the film. I actually believe the story is portrayed very well by the film and it doesn't seem sugarcoated at all. However, the pacing in the story was a little uneven which led to some parts become a little boring - I actually nearly fell asleep watching this film. The film feels like it would have worked really well as a mini TV series and doesn't really have silver screen value. Despite this, it doesn't Suffragette from being a very moving and inspiring film. An example of the film not sugar-coating is when the women are in prison and refuse to eat - the scene where Maud is being force fed is very disturbing to watch. This is probably one of the scenes I will remember most about this film - in some ways this is good because it shows how much these women went through to get what they wanted and deserved but in other ways this is bad as it shows the women when they were at their weakest/most vulnerable. I think my biggest problem with Suffragette is that it is slightly forgettable - it isn't a film I left thinking 'Wow' but I did enjoy it. 

The acting in the film is very strong. I think the film could campaign for numerous nominations in the supporting actress categories - Helena Bonham Carter was fantastic and has definitely found a way to be able to star in big blockbusters (Cinderella, Harry Potter) as well as these smaller Oscar-bait films (e.g. The Kings Speech). If I was to give the nomination to anyone - it would be Bonham Carter. I also really liked Anne-Marie Duff who wasn't on my radar before watching this film but now is. Meryl Streep was good in her role - her character was a huge part of the movement but her role in this film was very small. Saving the best till last, Carey Mulligan was fantastic in this film and like Duff, she is now on my radar.  However, what I will say across the board (and this is just an annoyance that I have that most will find stupid or petty) - the accents in the film were slightly annoying. Suffragette is a well acted film by all of its leading ladies which is incredibly important for a film about such an important movement. 

The film was also shot quite nicely - it had quite a dated feel which made it feel like you were watching a real life documentary of the movement. This was especially effective when the camera showed wide shots which had a slight blur/low quality which looked like they were taken directly from an old videotape. One of the stand out moments was the end scene where the film faded into real life footage of the suffragettes campaigning - this was done really well. 

Suffragette is a good film - it is very well acted and has a very realistic feel to it. However, it might of worked better as a TV show on the BBC and does have a few pacing issues. I think the film has done the movement justice and has kind of left the door open to show another part of the story if this was to become a huge success. Even though it can be occasionally dull and slightly forgettable - Suffragette is moving, inspiring and generally just a very good movie. 

4 STARS
B+

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